Monday, October 18, 2010

"We Gotta Get You a Woman" (1970)

53. Runt, "We Gotta Get You a Woman" (Dec. 26, 1970, #20)

Todd Rundgren the blue-eyed soul guy from Philadelphia always had more than the singing to make his way. In fact, his singing may have been among the least of his talents in some estimations; he dallied in the '70s and '80s with new age fusion fantasies and various metal/punk pretensions and won fans in those areas and those arenas too. But back when he was a hitmaker it was the songwriting that mostly did the work, as here with this poignant scenario, two guys talking things over in aw-shucks guys to guys manner about women, mostly a pep talk monologue, one-sided. This whole song is one-sided. Who the hell is Leroy and why should I care about whether he's gotta get a woman? All those questions are answered, most of them in the tones of Rundgren's voice, the way he shifts and sighs as he directs his speech over Leroy's shoulder and directly to us. He manages to make the song as comfy and Sunday afternoon as soft pants out of the dryer, speaking words of wisdom that we immediately recognize: "I tell you now we're going to pull you through / There's only one thing left that we can do / We gotta get you a woman / It's like nothing else to make you feel sure you're alive." Then the turn to the wryly goofy, as the music unexpectedly slows and sweetens: "Talkin' 'bout things ... about that special one / They may be stupid but they sure are fun." And, last but not least, the sudden turn to awkward inhibition as the singer suddenly gulps and sees the picture clear: "And when we're through with you / We'll get me one too." Yeah, you bet they will.

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